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What does the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) do?

The WRC has a large team, some of whom are proficient in a range of eastern European languages. This team carries out inspections on employers, large and small throughout the country to check compliance with employment law.

In general the Inspectorate have the following powers:
  1. To enter any premises at a reasonable time
  2. To demand sight of records
  3. To inspect records
  4. To take copies of records
  5. To interview and require information from any relevant person

How is a inspection undertaken?


Inspectors undertake both "announced" and "unannounced" inspections.

In the case of announced inspections, the inspector will contact the employer by letter or telephone (this is known as a calling card) to advise the employer that it is intended to carry out an employment rights compliance inspection on their business and to make the necessary arrangements for undertaking the inspection.

In the case of unannounced inspections, the inspector presents at the place of business and seeks the production of appropriate records.

The Inspection

At the start of any inspection, the Inspector identifies themselves, shows their authorisation, which includes photographic identification, and explains to the employer the purpose of the inspection. In some situations, more than one inspector may be required to carry out the inspection.

An inspection by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will typically last 2-3 hours. The duration depends on a number of factors including the size of the business and the volume and quality of the records.

In carrying out an inspection, the Inspector:
  • Ascertains the name(s) of the person(s) who keeps and updates the records
  • Examines the records to establish that they are in compliance with the relevant employment rights legislation
  • Determines the rates of pay in respect of each employee from the rosters and the wages records presented
  • Informs the employer during the course of the inspection of any breaches of the legislation identified
  • May interview employees